Monday, November 3, 2008

Jesus: Our Salvation

Chuckle: "Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald they don't recognize you."

Good Quote: "If you keep watch over your hearts, and listen for the voice of God and learn of him, in one short hour ye can learn more from him than ye could learn from a man in a thousand years." --Johannes Tauler


". . . and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:11 NIV). "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus Christ is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10 NIV).

Many times I have been asked, "how can I become a Christian -- how can I know for sure I have been saved from my sins and have eternal life?" These verses give us a beautiful answer. Salvation is as close as your heart and lips. God's plan of salvation is so simple many just cannot believe it. We want to make it complicated and difficult. If we sincerely believe, and have faith in him, in our hearts and say with our mouth that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved.

The primary reason people think salvation is a difficult and complicated process is the preconceived notion that it must be earned by living good moral lives. I've had people say to me, "when I get to the point that I can live a Christian life, I will give my life to Christ." This is getting the proverbial cart before the horse. We must see ourselves as sinners, come to Jesus in repentance, ask him to forgive our sins, and trust our very lives and eternal souls into his hands through faith. Once we have been saved, he will then give us the strength to clean up our lives and serve him with holiness.

"Therefore, If any man (person) is in Christ (saved), he is a new creation; the old (life) is gone, the new life has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV). "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

We can see from these passages that good works that matter to God come as a result of our salvation, not to attain it. Our salvation comes from believing (having faith) and confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord. Confession and belief (faith) belong together like a hand and glove. A true believer will confess Christ publicly. Believing and confessing are not two stages in a process, but two parts of the same transaction.

Several years ago one of the astronauts who walked on the moon was interviewed and asked, "What did you think about as you stood on the moon and looked back at the earth?" The astronaut replied, "I remembered how the spacecraft was built by the lowest bidder." We as Christians can rejoice that the work of salvation did not go to the "lowest bidder" but was performed by an infinite God. There will never be a deficiency in his work. Our salvation is as sure as the architect of that salvation, Almighty God!"

Love, Jerry & Dotse